Pulmonary resection for invasive Aspergillus infections in immunocompromised patients

Lary A. Robinson, Elizabeth C. Reed, Timothy A. Galbraith, Anselmo Alonso, Anthony L. Moulton, William H. Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Standard antifungal medical therapy of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis that occurs in immunocompromised patients with hematologic diseases with neutropenia or in liver transplant recipients results in less than a 5% survival. In view of these dismal mortality rates, we adopted an aggressive approach with resection of the involved area of lung along with systemic antifungal therapy when localized invasive pulmonary aspergillosis developed in these patients. Between January 1987 and December 1993, 14 patients with hematologic diseases and 2 liver transplant recipients underwent resection of acute localized pulmonary masses suggestive of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis a median of 7.5 days (range 1 to 45 days) after the diagnosis was clinically suggested and confirmed by chest computed tomographic scans. Operative procedures done included two pneumonectomies, one bilobectomy with limited thoracoplasty, nine lobectomies, and five wedge resections (one patient with hematologic disease had two procedures). All patients were treated before and after the operation with antifungal agents. Nine (64%) of 14 patients with hematologic disease and 2 (100%) of 2 liver transplant recipients survived the hospitalization with no evidence of recurrent Aspergillus infection after a median 8 months of follow-up (range 3 to 82 months). The five hospital deaths (all patients with hematologic diseases) occurred a median of 20 days after operation from diffuse alveolar hemorrhage in three, graft-versus-host disease in one, and multiple organ system failure with presumed disseminated Aspergillus infection in one. Four of the five deaths were in patients with allogeneic bone marrow transplants. Two of the three patients requiring resection of multiple foci of infection died, as did the only patient who was preoperatively ventilator dependent. In immunocompromised patients with hematologic diseases or liver transplantation with invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, early pulmonary resection should be strongly considered when the characteristic clinical and radiographic pictures appear. (J T HORAC C ARDIOVASC S URG 1995;109:1182-97).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1197
Number of pages16
JournalThe Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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